the first home depot i went to (in somerville) didn't have what i was looking for. i was in search of a contoured paint scraper, the kind that has a teardrop shape and used for removing paint from moulding surfaces. they also didn't have stripping pads, but figured i could always resort to scouring pads (which might be cheaper). i ended up buying a can of after wash and returned home. i then went to my second home depot (in belmont). they too didn't have what i was looking for. i even asked somebody there, she told me they used to sell contoured scrapers with heat guns, but not anymore. i ended up buying a 14-in-1 painting tool, which might work if i can't find a suitable scraper. finally, i went to city paints on mass ave. if any place should have what i was looking for, it'd be them. they did have a contoured scraper, but it was $10 and came with 6 different blades. i ended up not getting it, but got some stripping pads (basically glorified scouring pads).

the 14-in-1 tool wasn't going to work (i'll be returning it the next time i visit home depot). i figured i'd just get creative with the putty knife. the citristrip gel does most of the work anyway, i just needed to gently pry off the softening paint.

so last night i stopped after doing a 2nd 3rd round of stripping on the door. i was having second thoughts on whether or not i should even bother stripping in the first place (versus just white washing the door, covering up any blemishes in the process), but then decided i would do the whole surface. i figured i was already halfway done anyway (actually only a third way, i'm bad at math).

so after hunting the four corners of somerville-belmont-watertown-cambridge for the proper tools (pretty much a failure), i came back home, ate lunch (a tea egg), then began the arduous task of stripping the rest of the door (just one face, i'm leaving the other face alone).

after putting on a layer of citristrip, i waited for about an hour before i began stripping off the paint with my putty knife. the first layer only got as far as the thin protective shellac coat above the stain coat. a quick glance doesn't seem like much work was done, but after a 2nd round of citristrip i'll reach bare wood. my father dropped by around 3:00 to check out my progress and brought along some used paints in case i needed them. i was already pretty much done. after he left, i took a shower and left for belmont.

when i came back in the evening, i began the 2nd citristrip coat. i started at 8:00, was 30 minutes later, but waited until 10:00 to began stripping. the 2nd stripping was much easier, and the paints came off in large intact sheets, revealing lovely wood below. the moulding bits were definitely tricky, especially in the corners. also along the edge of the door there's still some paint left. i tried the after wash, but the stripping pads aren't really absorbent like a sponge so the acetone-methanol-xylene ended up seeping into my hands despite the industrial strength rubber gloves. the door will require a 3rd touchup strip to remove the final bits of paint. that'll happen tomorrow morning, i'm all stripped out for the day.

i must've spoken too soon: powdery mildew has spread to the new squash leaves as well. i thought maybe they were immune, but the brief bout of wet weather recently must've triggered some fungal bloom. the nasturtiums i planted on the side of the house almost as an afterthought are doing exceptionally well, the healthiest nasturtiums on all the garden. not many flowers though, but plenty of leaves. the chinese lanterns i planted there as well didn't bloom this year, but they're pretty an invasive weed so i don't doubt that there'll be plenty of orange lantern flowers in the coming seasons. the golden raspberries are also doing well. i'm surprised not more wild animals take advantage of the berries, given that they ransacked all the corn and stole a few tomatoes. the only animal i've seen eating the raspberries are cardinals, who hover by the stalks for a split second to grab a berry.

i gave my mother season 4 of the wire a few days ago. she watched a few early episodes then jumped to the end again, skipping chunks of story. she said it was too depressing, that too many people get killed. she said her favorite season is still the first one.

for dinner we had shrimp pasta.

before i started working on the door again, i went out in search of newspapers to line the floors with (stripping is a dirty business). star market didn't have any, the woman at the liquor store gave me a confused look, and the boston globe dispenser in front of the beacon street laundromat was empty. i went home defeated, but fortunately i still had some leftover circulars.